PARKLAND, Wash. – Linfield became the first team to keep sixth-ranked Pacific Lutheran off the scoreboard this season as the two Northwest Conference clubs settled for a 0-0 double-overtime draw on a wet Saturday afternoon at PLU’s East Field.
Goalkeepers Joe Rayburn and Jorge Rodriguez made six saves apiece for the Lutes and Wildcats, respectively, over 110 minutes of scoreless action. Pacific Lutheran outshot the visiting team 19-13 for the match and pushed into the Linfield box several times in the second overtime period, but the Wildcat defense held firm.
Derek Johnson fired seven shots and Rigoberto Loreto put up a match-high three attempts on goal to lead the Lutes attack. Tyler Repic paced the Linfield offense with four total shots, including two on frame.
The teams were evenly matched over the first 45 minutes, each totaling four shots and earning a pair of corner kicks. Linfield’s greatest scoring opportunities came over the final two minutes. Taking a free kick after a yellow card was charged to the Lutes, Jake Baker served the ball into the box, where it was cleared by a PLU defender directly to Repic, who fired off a shot that Rayburn deflected past the endline.
On the ensuing corner kick, a Linfield relay passed the ball from Baker to Repic to Brian DeGrandmont (Sr., Portland, Ore.), who took aim toward the near post and forced Rayburn into a similar diving stop as on the previous play. PLU’s keeper finally got out of trouble with a decisive punch-out on the next corner kick, helping the Lutes push back toward their offensive end of the pitch.
Pacific Lutheran controlled possession throughout much of the second half. The Lutes held a 10-6 advantage in shot attempts, including one last-gasp effort from Diego Aceves in the final 90 seconds of regulation.
The two clubs only put two combined shots on frame during the two overtime periods to settle for the tie.
‘CAT SCRATCH: The clubs tied for the first time since the 2004 season…during that time PLU posted a 10-7 record against Linfield…the match marked the Wildcats’ first tie of 2013…Rodriguez lowered his season goals against average to 0.77.
AHEAD: Linfield faces off against another NWC foe from Tacoma, Puget Sound, Sunday at 2:30 p.m